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Whether it’s societal pressure (thanks social media) or a family history of well-intended values, we tend to place a great deal of emphasis on outcomes and less value on effort. The outcomes, whether it’s making the honor roll  or a litany of college acceptances, convey a sense of status or prestige.

What if we focused more on noticing effort? Kids might feel more comfortable with making mistakes and accept that the journey is more important than the achievement. Raising future leaders means helping build their character, not their status — or ours for that matter!

I remember in one of my first PEP classes, we were talking about how to respond when helping a child learn a new task. I came to the class thinking it was a good idea to point out when a child was doing something incorrectly — ‘it’s how he would improve,’ I reasoned. Wrong. Turns out that the way children build their competency and confidence is when we point out what they are doing that is right. I still recall sitting there in shock. But as I listened more and thought about it, it seemed so obvious. How had I not realized this before?

For nearly 40 years PEP has taught a style of parenting and a language that focuses on just this. For most of us the language of positive parenting and encouragement aren’t native or instinctual.

Whether you’re new to PEP or continuing to grow with us, we have a class for you this winter.

Online: Registration is open for both the February, 4-week Master Classes: Encouragement: Building Your Child’s Confidence from the Inside Out and Redefining Discipline: A No Gimmicks Guide to Raising Responsible, Respectful Kids.

In-Person: After our highly regarded in-person class, PEP I: Parenting 5 to 12 Year Olds sold out this winter — we opened a new section on Thursday evenings. Other in-person classes for parents of preschoolers and teens as well as our most popular class, Managing Anger: A Parent’s Guide have just a few spaces left! Details on all in-person opportunities can be found here.